Many years ago a new girl PCSd to Okinawa when I only had 6 months left on the island. Her name was Sarah and we had an awful lot in common. We both ran, we both enjoyed triathlons, we both had 3 children, and we both had graduated from the same college (though neither of us knew the other in college). Sarah upon meeting me decided we would be friends. I was and always have been friendly to new people. I never want anyone to leave a Stroller Warrior workout without having connected with another adult! However, I wasn’t so sure I needed new friends at this stage in my life. But she was really nice and I really enjoyed hanging out with her. She kept coming to Stroller Warriors workouts and we kept hanging out and running together. Then, even though be both knew I only had 6 months left at this duty station, our friendship progressed to training for a half together and countless miles shared and memories made.
Another night after getting back to the car, we hung around to stretch and chat. While sitting on the ground stretching we hear noises in the bushes that sounded like an animal or animals of some sort. Sarah got up quickly and started screaming, “Coyotes! Coyotes!” and jumped into her car. I stood outside staring at her and she opened the door slightly to scream, “Get in the car!!” I could hear the noise getting louder and closer. Sarah being so nervous made me nervous, so I jumped into the car too. Only I was getting into the side where Sarah already was! She awkwardly scrambled from the passenger side to the drivers side and we both finally fit in the car and were able to shut the door. We peered nervously out and watched as a pack of dogs (not coyotes!) jumped out of the bushes and ran lazily around the parking lot. We sure had a good laugh over that one! I remember telling her, “I’m pretty sure they don’t even have coyotes on the island!” (They don’t).
While I physically had to leave Sarah, our friendship is something that I didn’t have to leave behind. To this day we still talk on the phone and share our lives. We don’t have a set schedule to talk but when we do talk, we just pick up right where we left off. Five years later the stars are aligning and we are rotating at the same time. Will we meet at the next duty station? I can only hope!